just diagnosed - rectal cancer......

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Oz
Oz Member Posts: 2
edited March 2014 in Colorectal Cancer #1
Hello, All,

I was diagnosed with rectal cancer on Dec. 11, 2008. The flurry of activity that's followed that dreadful day is quite overwhelming as you well know. However, my biggest issue at the moment is how to deal with family members. The option of who to tell and when to tell them was taken away from me the day I was diagnosed as calls were made from the hospital after the exam before I was even dressed. I'm inundated with calls and messages from well wishers -- don't get me wrong, I GREATLY appreciate the concern but I'm not on my death bed and that's how I'm being treated. I haven't even begun treatment yet!!

I'm single and very private; I wish this was my secret. I've resorted to nondisclosure, re doctor appointmens which makes me feel like a heel. Has anyone else had this experience on top of the already HUGE issue of dealing with the cancer??

By the way, I've enjoyed reading your posts and will have lots of questions about chemo/radiation/surgery when I get past this one......

thanx,
Oz

Comments

  • msccolon
    msccolon Member Posts: 1,917 Member
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    SUCKS!
    I hate that you lost control of disseminating the info and that many are reacting badly to the news. I also am single but I was lucky enough to have my mother, who was an RN before she retired, with me when I had that first colonoscopy and she handled the dissemination of info very well. Over the years, I have found that some people will react badly, some will react well, and i can't do a thing to change that fact! I think the best thing I did was get a CaringBridge site together. I journal the info I want every one to have and it gives me a chance to digest info I get from the doctor and time to put a spin on it if i decide I'm going to! I stopped taking family/friends with me to the doctors for results; gives me more control over what goes out as to how things are going! Then, when I feel I want to give out more details, I do. Or I don't!

    Welcome to our club, I pray that you will find the strength to get through everything that is ahead. Be strong and come back often.
    mary
  • Oz
    Oz Member Posts: 2
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    :- )
    It's good to know I'm not the only one who's got people 'hovering' over me. I love my family but it's just way too much right now. I had a week with no appointments during the holidays (yeay!!) but the schedule resumes tomorrow; I haven't told anyone what's on the calandar and will take your advise and keep it to myslef.

    Thanks a lot for your reply.
    :- )
  • msccolon
    msccolon Member Posts: 1,917 Member
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    Oz said:

    :- )
    It's good to know I'm not the only one who's got people 'hovering' over me. I love my family but it's just way too much right now. I had a week with no appointments during the holidays (yeay!!) but the schedule resumes tomorrow; I haven't told anyone what's on the calandar and will take your advise and keep it to myslef.

    Thanks a lot for your reply.
    :- )

    Yea for no appointments!
    We take the good with the bad! You know your loves ones mean well, and are doing their best to feel in control as well, but darn it! It's YOUR body and YOUR cancer and you'd just like to have some semblance of control, thank you very much! With time, it will all get a bit easier on all concerned. Good luck with your future appointments and remember to take me time.
    mary
  • Buzzard
    Buzzard Member Posts: 3,043 Member
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    msccolon said:

    Yea for no appointments!
    We take the good with the bad! You know your loves ones mean well, and are doing their best to feel in control as well, but darn it! It's YOUR body and YOUR cancer and you'd just like to have some semblance of control, thank you very much! With time, it will all get a bit easier on all concerned. Good luck with your future appointments and remember to take me time.
    mary

    Understandable
    I was dx 3/25/08 and I left work the next day on medical leave. I also left word that even though I had a lot of friends where I worked(425 employees) I asked them to please not call the house because life will be chaotic for a while and I would let them know how things were going as I saw fit and when I had time. It was to save the family of more than they could handle at this point and time. Not one call did I receive until I let them know I was going to probably be OK. My family got the peace they needed and all my friends respected my wishes. I have a lot of close friends where I work but it was just a real bad time for my whole family and it needed to just be my immediate family that were asking questions and having them answered. I shut everything down for a while, got my family relaxed with it ( as much as possible) and then started to let people know that they could come by or call or that I would come see them at work...It all worked out fine....friends will do whatever it takes to assure that their friends wishes are always fulfilled. Concern though is always there and people just always want to know....Just try and be patient as hard as it sometimes gets.....if they get persistent then they open themselves up for whatever wrath you put on them....This disease makes you angry, use it against the disease, not loved ones..God Bless ya and Good Luck...
  • tootsie1
    tootsie1 Member Posts: 5,044 Member
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    Hi, Oz.
    Oz,

    Just want to say hello and that I wish you all the best in your fight. We'll look forward to hearing about your progress.

    I'm sorry you didn't get to tell people in your own way.

    *hugs*
    Gail
  • KierstenRx
    KierstenRx Member Posts: 249
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    Understand...
    Hello,
    Welcome to the group. I was diagnosed stage III rectal cancer at age 32 back in September 2006. Within hours my immediate family, workplace, and church knew. I had many people drop by the first day and I really appreciated it, but I wanted to be alone with my husband. I went back to work the next day and really kept it quiet to almost all my customers. My Grandmother passed away 3 days after my diagnosis and since her funeral was out of state I couldn't go due to meeting with surgeons/oncologist. My parents didn't tell anyone while attending the funeral and only after I knew more did my family begin to spread the word. What really helped me is I had "appointed" people to give out info. That was very helpful because it was totally exhausting to keep repeating the same story over and over and over. For me that worked well because everyone wants to know what is going on and it kept the gossip (my aunt had me on my deathbed) to a minimum. Find someone you trust fully that you can confide in and be upfront with others that you appreciate their concern but also need your privacy.

    Kiersten
  • CherylHutch
    CherylHutch Member Posts: 1,375 Member
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    Welcome to here, Oz!
    Not the place you would choose on your own but am I ever glad you found us right at the beginning of your journey... and that's exactly what it is... a journey :)

    I was diagnosed Dec 19, 2006, right before Christmas... and thrown into the hospital that same day. I ended up being in the hospital for a month, so other than the phone and friends, I didn't have to face the deluge of calls and visits at my home (the hospital was another matter... it was like Grand Central Station!) :) Since there were family/friends from all over the lace... not just locally, I immediately had my friend set up a blog site (http://ourcheryl.blogspot.com ). This also served as a duo purpose... my 83 year old father was upset and felt helpless because there was nothing he could do to make it all better... so I told him to get over it, I had a job for him to do. Since he'd either be at the hospital or calling me, I would give him the updates that I wanted people to know and it was up to him to email them to my friend, Melinda, who was updating the blog on a daily basis. Melinda lives in Australia , so Dad had a job to do and it's amazing the difference it made when he had a "role" to complete.

    Whether you have someone do a blog or you do it yourself... it can save a kajillion phone calls and emails.

    You are so 100% right!! You are NOT on your deathbed and although this has turned your life upside down and you will have a journey ahead of you, there is no reason to think cancer = death, because that is just not so anymore. Yes, people do die of cancer... but then people die of seizures, or heart attacks, or chocking on a piece of chicken. People die for many reasons and survive those same reasons too. But it's human nature to gasp and think the worse when they hear the word "cancer". And I bet dollars to donuts, when family/friends first hear you have "rectal cancer" the first thing they did was run to their computers to Google "rectal cancer", "colon cancer" or "colorectal cancer"... and then turned white with what they found... and that's where the rumours start.

    As we constantly say to fellow cancer members... STAY AWAY FROM THE INTERNET (other than coming here ). There is sooooo much infomation out there from so many sources, some of it valid, some of it hogwash and most of it out of date. Keep in mind, by the time a set of statistics are published they are minimum 5 years out of date. So it doesn't help you to read the statistics because the ones you read mean nothing. Even the ones the doctors fling about mean nothing because they are going by the published studies/statistics.

    So hang in there... and since the word is out, figure out a way that you can take back control of who hears what. If you do set up a blog of some sort, then you can let people know only what you want them to know and nothing more :)

    Hugggggs,

    Cheryl
  • dorookie
    dorookie Member Posts: 1,731 Member
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    I agree
    I appointed a friend and a co-worker to let all concerned know how I was doing. It really does help alot and keeps from having to repeat things over and over. With my co-worker it also helps with paperwork that might need to be done because of the medical leave issues or any other issues that come up with work.

    Welcome to our family here, glad you found us, but very sorry that you are going through this. You found the best group around. Please keep coming back we are all here to help.

    God Bless you
    Beth
  • buzzlegum
    buzzlegum Member Posts: 1
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    I hear Ya
    Hi there,
    I was Dx in Sept o8 with colorectal. I live in a small town. I keep to myself most of the time. However this illness has pushed me out into the open. I hate that there is a spot light on me and my life right now. Plus when I was doing treatment ( finished week before thanksgiving) I just didn't want to talk about this beast. Thankfully my husband was just wonderful at keeping people posted. I agree with the above poster. The caringbridge site would help I'm sure. I just started mine earlier today. I hope that will help keep all the wonderful people who have and continue to pray for me updated. It's hard to face cancer maybe thats why I hate talking about it. It's also hard to listen to all the well wishers when you feel alone. Anyways best wishes.